Monday, December 21, 2009

My Plug for Splitcell Entertainment

Good writing takes many forms in many genres. If I had to name a talented up-and-coming writer who’s both a master of the art of filmmaking and screenwriting that would easily be Jeffrey Kent of Splitcell Entertainment. With a wide assortment of abilities and interests, Jeff has established a creative and successful line of short films that he has both written and directed. What I really love about Jeff’s work is that he’s not pretentious. He makes no judgments on whether something is so called “high-art” or “low-art.” He straddles every genre of filmmaking he can manufacture, he develops his stories with honest and upfront approaches, and he never tries to showoff how smart and talented he actually is within his films. He simply shows you what he’s got and lets the rest speak for itself.

But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself at Spiltcell Entertainment. His impeccable stylistic attention to detail on the set of “Detective Voss” shows his television skills complete with “CSI lighting” techniques. Comedic favorites include “Lemons,” “A Neighbor Like Frank,” and “The Robber and the Truck Driver.” For those more interested in historical pieces, he has a wonderful short about World War II entitled “Hurtgenwald.” I’ve added Jeff’s work as a link under my newly created author’s section on the right-hand side of this page, labeled “Fellow California Writers.” I’ve added other authors and bloggers to this list as well and will discuss in the coming weeks some of the projects fellow writers in the community are working on.

This week my spotlight has been on Jeffery Kent and his screenwriting and directing career. To his credit are also notable projects such as working on the full length film “Only the Brave,” directed, written, and produced by Lane Nishikawa. A harrowing tale about the 442 Divison of Japanese-American troops who fought in Europe during the Second World War, the film tackles crucial elements of American history as well as ethical struggles of characters that deal and debate with racism, patriotism, duty, and love in a world turned upside-down.

For further information on any of Jeff’s work, checkout his site or ping him directly. He is generous and attentive with fans, and is also just a really great guy. I’ve known him a long time and have enjoyed watching his career continue to grow both in depth and success as it will doubtlessly continue to do in the next few years to come.

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Celtic Novel: Between Two Fires

Learn more about another novel I have written, Between Two Fires.

Loosely based on an ancient medieval Irish romance, Between Two Fires is the story of a young girl named Deirdre who grows up in obscurity, raised by a strange druid in the wilderness, only to find out that she is pledged to wed the warrior king of Northern Ireland. Her marriage to King Konchovar, however, is troubled before it begins. Young, beautiful, and in the first years of maidenhood, Deirdre gradually grows more distant from her future husband, who is older, stern, and brutal. She instead falls in love with one of the king’s own nephews, a knight called Noyshu.

Set against the backdrop of warring tribes and kingdoms, political intrigues and betrayals, Deirdre risks everything to be with her lover Noyshu. The two elope together the night before Deirdre is officially to be wed to Konchovar. The king and his knights pursue them mercilessly, but time and again they evade capture in the wilderness.

I wrote this actually more than a year ago, but have been contemplating revamping the original manuscript. I believe it certainly has potential, but have found it difficult to find representation for it due to its unusual nature. In truth, this novel straddles multiple genres, combining everything from historical, fantasy, romance, and literary fictions into a blend that I prefer to term as “mythological” fiction. Anyone familiar with the ancient/medieval sources that I draw inspiration from will also notice that I have anglicized many of the Gaelic names in order to make them more pronounceable to readers unfamiliar with the intriguing, but often baffling ancient Irish nomenclature characteristic of these legends.

In creating this story I have also drawn from a wide variety of experiences and research. I have visited many of the ancient ruins in Ireland where these stories are fabled to have taken place. In addition, I have read as many translations of the ancient Irish manuscripts concerning the subject as possible, ranging from the Táin to other tales of the Ulster Cycle to myths of the Tuath de Danann just to name a few. I have also enjoyed earlier versions of this much cherished Irish legend as imagined by Stephens, Yeats, Synge, and Woods in both drama and novelizations. For more information on my novel or to actually give it a read, please contact me and I can provide you with the entire manuscript.

Friday, November 6, 2009

My New Civil War Novel: The Long Defeat

In preparation for the San Francisco Writer’s Conference I’m attending in February, I’ve begun polishing up my manuscript for my latest historical fiction, The Long Defeat. Special thanks to my friends, family, and fellow re-enactors for reviewing the novel and providing feedback. Your encouragements and praises help keep me going! As you can imagine it’s no easy task writing then rewriting a book from start to finish and all the while trying to grab the attention of a legitimate literary agent. I truly do appreciate your time and advice from each and every one of you.

For those of you unfamiliar with my new book, allow me to briefly explain. The novel itself is set during the height of the American Civil War and chronicles the experiences and letters of a handful of soldiers both North and South. The two conflicting protagonists, a Northern soldier William S. Book and a Southern Confederate Nathaniel Saxon, begin the war as strangers, but soon find themselves facing one another across the battlefields of Virginia. William S. Book of Boston embodies the Northern man of industry and progressiveness; Nathaniel Saxon of New Orleans represents the Southern soldier of culture and tradition. Their respective regiments, the 12th Massachusetts and the 5th Louisiana, meet under a flag of truce only later to face one another on opposing sides of battle.

Both Book and Saxon are accompanied by very different comrades on campaign. Written in an epistolary style, the novel progresses through the perspective of several of these men's letters as they write to women back home. Book’s companions consist of the Irishman Franklin Murphy, and the youthful idealist James Beale. Saxon’s compatriots include the bayou bushwhacker Johnnie Waverly, and the French Creole Adrian LeBlanc. Through the letters of each of these six men we experience their trepidations, their camaraderie, and their hopes. Some of these men write to their mothers, wives, and sweethearts. Others write to almost total strangers.

In addition to this novel being a historical fiction, I have gone to great lengths to ensure the authenticity and historical accuracy of the campaigns and armies portrayed in The Long Defeat. For those of you who haven’t had a chance yet to read my new book and are interested, please contact me directly for a copy at Thank you again to all my friends and family for your continued support.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Published in Moebius Magazine

I am immensely proud of my short-story, “London Bound,” and thankful to my alma mater California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) for publishing it in their literary magazine, but I must firstly admit that my official debut publication has a bittersweet edge to it. Although this story is a work of fiction it is inspired and based on the very real events and experiences that occurred during the July 7, 2005 terrorist attacks in London. While on one of my backpacking excursions through Europe I returned via train from Paris to London with the intention of taking the Tube that day, only to find all the stations closed, transportation down, and emergency broadcasts on the radio. My perspective remains a small sliver of the events that unfolded that day, but nonetheless it evolved into something that I had to put down into words even if the tragedy itself was something more felt than understood. You can read my short-story “London Bound” or view the entire Moebius Magazine. Thank you.